to provide answers for questions regarding European identity. India enabled Europe to discover its supposedly ‘true’ past. Nowhere was this process more apparent than in the attempt of Voltaire (1694–1778) to rewrite the history of religions and compare world mythologies.
In particular, it was in his understanding of the Fall of Man that Voltaire's true need to construct an Indian alibi (Latin: ‘elsewhere’) surfaced. Voltaire compared what he perceived as the Indian version of the Fall to the classical myth relating the revolt of the Titans and
Biblical literacy and Khoesan national renewal in the Cape Colony
He continued, ‘My nation is poor and degraded, but the Word of God is their stay and their hope … The Bible makes all nations one. The Bible brings wild man and civilised together. The Bible is our light. The [Khoekhoe] nation was almost exterminated, but the Bible has brought the nations together, and here am I before you.’
During the early nineteenth century, the public sphere in the Cape Colony was fraught with contesting views and rival opinions over notions of identity
Chosen peoples demonstrates how biblical themes, ideas and metaphors shaped narratives of racial, national and imperial identity in the long nineteenth century. Even and indeed especially amid spreading secularism, the development of professionalised science and the proclamation of ‘modernity’, biblical notions of lineage, descent and inheritance continued to inform understandings of race, nation and character at every level from the popular to the academic. Although new ideas and discoveries were challenging the historicity of the Bible, even markedly secular thinkers chose to explain their complex and radical ideas through biblical analogy. Denizens of the seething industrial cities of America and Europe championed or criticised them as New Jerusalems and Modern Babylons, while modern nation states were contrasted with or likened to Egypt, Greece and Israel. Imperial expansion prompted people to draw scriptural parallels, as European settler movements portrayed ‘new’ territories across the seas as lands of Canaan. Yet such language did not just travel in one direction. If many colonised and conquered peoples resisted the imposition of biblical narratives, they also appropriated biblical tropes to their own ends. These original case studies, by emerging and established scholars, throw new light on familiar areas such as slavery, colonialism and the missionary project, while opening up exciting cross-comparisons between race, identity and the politics of biblical translation and interpretation in South Africa, Egypt, Australia, America and Ireland. The book will be essential reading for academic, graduate and undergraduate readers in empire, race and global religion in the long nineteenth century.
inheritance of Russia, especially the authority of the Slavonic Bible. In the conflict that ensued between the two Filarets, a politically contested setting was firmly established for Russian biblical translation in the last half of the nineteenth century.
In his response to the Synod's 1856 proposal to resume modern Russian biblical translation, Filaret Amfiteatrov of Kiev took a fundamentalist or essentialist position, arguing for the infallibility of the Slavonic text and the rejection of modern Russian translation. In his ‘Zapiska’ of 1857, penned
This book will explore how biblical themes, ideas and metaphors shaped narratives of racial, national and imperial identity in the long nineteenth century. It will argue that, far from being a mere relic of a supposed earlier ‘age of belief’, the Bible supplied languages and frameworks for both interpreting and challenging imperial modernity. In one sense this is a simple claim that rests on the physical ubiquity of Bibles as objects. ‘The Bible itself’, as the late Christopher Bayly pointed out, ‘was, of course, the single most published book
's Bibles thereby had the potential to inform competing visions of Arab(ic) identity in ways that paralleled, for example, the work of Protestant translators in South India, where variant Bibles empowered different notions of Tamil language and Tamil community.
Looking with dismay at the fragmented, post-Ottoman map of the Middle East and North Africa, certain mid- to late twentieth-century Arab nationalists argued that colloquial Arabic publications, like the BFBS Arabic
When members of that oft-maligned institution, the Anglican Church – the 'Tory Party at prayer' – encountered the far-flung settler empire, they found it a strange and intimidating place. Anglicanism's conservative credentials seemed to have little place in developing colonies; its established status, secure in England, would crumble in Ireland and was destined never to be adopted in the 'White Dominions'. By 1850, however, a global ‘Anglican Communion’ was taking shape. This book explains why Anglican clergymen started to feel at home in the empire. Between 1790 and 1860 the Church of England put in place structures that enabled it to sustain a common institutional structure and common set of beliefs across a rapidly-expanding ‘British world’. Though Church expansion was far from being a regulated and coordinated affair, the book argues that churchmen did find ways to accommodate Anglicans of different ethnic backgrounds and party attachments in a single broad-based ‘national’ colonial Church. The book details the array of institutions, voluntary societies and inter-colonial networks that furnished the men and money that facilitated Church expansion; it also sheds light on how this institutional context contributed to the formation of colonial Churches with distinctive features and identities. The colonial Church that is presented in this book will be of interest to more than just scholars and students of religious and Church history. The book shows how the colonial Church played a vital role in the formation of political publics and ethnic communities in a settler empire that was being remoulded by the advent of mass migration, democracy and the separation of Church and state.
appointed resident clergy. But in 1860 many Upper Canadian churchgoers
had still not embraced the kind of rigid denominational identities that
we associate with modern religion. 12 Methodists and Presbyterians can be found
among the pew holders of the church at Fredericksburg near Kingston in
1859, while a Presbyterian and a Wesleyan sat on the vestry at nearby
Bath in 1861. 13
Clergy at the Cape
The Church of England, migration and the British world
journey towards voluntarism required churchmen to revisit old questions
about the role and identity of the Church, as well as the question of
how denominational loyalty could be maintained in an institution where
voluntary organisations – whether they were missionary societies
or individual churches – held sway. 14 In short, the journey towards
voluntary status generated a set of contests and tensions within the
driven by raw self-interest or philanthropy,
the shape of empire was contested and contingent. Would the
possibilities for Jones’s communal vision have germinated under
David Scott’s regime? The relationships that flourished in the
hills could be mutualistic – Lister and Inglis derived joint
benefit from their official and blood partnership, increasing the
strength of each other’s survival; they could be